Students welcome first day of school with an alpaca

Bennington Banner
By: Patricia LeBoeuf
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Bennington Banner.
 
NORTH BENNINGTON — Temperatures reaching almost into the 90s couldn't keep kids and their families from the novelty of the day Wednesday — a young alpaca, ready for petting.

"We figured this would be quite a draw for parents and kids — to come see an alpaca," said Jennie Rozycki, library director of the John G. McCullough Library.

The library hosted the alpaca as part of its first-day-of-class celebration Wednesday afternoon, which also featured smoothie-making with the RiseVT smoothie bike and library card and newsletter sign-up, part of its effort to draw local children and get more of them to sign up for library cards. Wednesday was the first day of school at the Village School of North Bennington and Southshire Community School.

The library's event was part of a day of celebration for students at the Village School, with a barbecue, all-school assembly with a stilt-walker performance and a parade.

Pernod, a true black juvenile alpaca just shy of a year old, made his appearance on the library grounds just after noon.

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Alpacas wear tiny hats and spread cheer at La Grange center

My Statesman
By: Pam LeBlanc
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture 

Original content from My Statesman.
 
Nothing beats an alpaca wearing a tiny black cowboy hat, bandanna and monogrammed red vest when someone’s day needs brightening.

A trio of fluffy, four-legged emotional support alpacas named Tex, Willie and Waylon proved that when they strolled into the Texas Rural Health Services building in La Grange recently, gamely fielding hugs and pats from adult clients with intellectual challenges.

“Just being around them and hugging them melts stress away,” said the alpacas’ owner, Loretta Hajovsky.

Alpacas, which are related to camels, are commonly bred for fleece. But the animals, which have underbites and cloud-soft fur, apparently also have a calming effect on humans. They hum and make people smile, too.

That’s why Hajovsky is on a mission to qualify alpacas as official service animals. In Texas, only dogs or horses can get the certification, which requires special training.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at My Statesman.

Alpaca Market a gathering place for Colorado farms and artisans

Estes Park Trail Gazette 
By: Claire Woodcock
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture  

Original content from Estes Park Trail Gazette.
 
This past weekend, vendors gathered in Barn W. at the Estes Park Fairgrounds to share with visitors the joys and benefits of raising alpacas. The 19th annual Estes Park Alpaca Market saw more vendors than in past years and many of them are part of a larger alpaca community.

Artisans Kathie Dalgleish and Sheri Neuman belong to that group. They both raise alpacas in Kiowa, Colo. and it's each their second time showing at the Alpaca Market.

On Saturday morning, these women have their stations set up next to each other. At them, Dalgleish is looming and Neuman, of Plan B Alpacas, is spinning fiber. When the Dalgleishs, who co-own Raisin Bred Alpacas first moved to Colorado, Neuman and her husband took care of their alpacas while they looked for a home.

"[The Neumans] watch our animals when we go out of town and we watch their animals when they go out of town," she said. "It's really nice to be able to have that kind of sense of community and help and assistance and not feel like you're all by yourself."

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at Estes Park Trail Gazette.

Estes Park Alpaca Market cultivates community

Estes Park Trail Gazette 
By: Claire Woodcock
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Estes Park Trail Gazette.
 
Saturday and Sunday, a dozen vendors gathered in Barn W. at the Estes Park Fairgrounds to share with visitors the joys of raising alpacas and the ways their fiber can be used to create everyday products.

Six farms brought their animals, including LaZy B Acres Alpacas. Larry Zierer is co-owener of that Bennett-based farm. He and his wife Becky Zierer have had been raising alpacas for two decades. He's in his sixth year managing Alpaca Market in Estes Park and said alpacas are the easiest livestock in the world to raise. 


“They're wonderful little kids, easy to raise, we're here primarily to educate people about alpacas, but also then to show people the products that we can make out of alpaca,” he said.

Read the rest of this story at Estes Park Trail Gazette.